The blog of The Harvard Crimson

Harvard-Yale: Somehow, It Always Gets Weirder

MIT Prank
MIT, in a desperate attempt to feel included, pulled off a weather-balloon scale prank in 1982.

Harvard-Yale szn is back again and we’re already hype for all the game day festivities. If you’re anything like us, you know that watching the weird things that happen around game time is even more fun than the game itself, whether that be the latest Harvard-Yale pranks, the most wild tailgaters, or the best signs in the stands. What better way to prepare for all this inevitable craziness than with a look at some of the weirdest things to happen at past games?

Papier-mâché Bulldog Abuse?

With Yale having won nearly every single match leading up to the 1908 game, the pressure was on for Harvard to finally make a comeback. Legend has it, the football coach at the time strangled a papier-mâché bulldog and drove around Cambridge with it attached to his car to raise morale and get the team ready for The Game. Some even say that he actually strangled a live bulldog, but we’re gonna assume that this one at least is a little too weird to be true.

A 4 a.m. Band Performance

Forget the weekly trek back to your dorm from Pfoho Igloo; in 1962, Harvard took late night entertainment to a new level with a band parade through New Haven – at 4 a.m. Sure the police and locals weren’t too happy (er, seven band members were tossed in jail), but what better way to get ready for a game day win! We can only hope that this night also ended with a midnight snack at some Jefe’s equivalent. After the members made bail, of course.

Taking L’s… Even from the Team Manager

If you’ve seen any CEB poster you already know this game is all about “Payback Time” after a two-year Yale winning streak, but this was not the case in 1952. With Yale ahead by nearly 25 points, they decided to add insult to injury and put in their student team manager to catch a two-point conversion on Harvard’s own turf. Let’s just cross our fingers we don’t get a repeat of that this Saturday.

MIT Joins the Party (...for some reason)

As tensions grew between Harvard and Yale for the 1982 Game, MIT apparently felt left out and decided to join in on the fun. In what they like to call one of their most iconic “hacks” (because of course that’s what MIT would call pranks), halfway through the game a giant weather balloon with “MIT” written on it rose out of the ground and popped, leaving powder all over the field and anyone nearby. With many newspaper articles declaring that they stole the show, and even a press conference proclaiming this the “the greatest college prank of all time,” we’re glad MIT got to feel included.

After seeing some of the weirdest things to happen at past Harvard-Yale games, maybe your moderately-impaired decisions on gameday will seem a little less crazy. Though let’s be real, the consistently weirdest thing about The Game must be the Yale students. Imagine choosing to wear Yale Blue over Harvard Crimson.

Ticketing at Yale Was Worse

With The Game at Fenway, the ticketing process required precise coordination of friends’ schedules and arduous hikes across the river. Like everything else, though, Yale found a way to do it worse. We caught up with one frustrated Yalie for the scoop on how ticketing went for folks in New Haven this year.

Flyby: So, we heard the ticketing process at Yale was a bit difficult?

Michelle J. Fang: Yes! Basically, the tickets were sold at Payne Whitney Gym, which is the large gym here. My friends and I expected for there to be a booth outside the gym where we could line up for the tickets. When we got there, we did find a line out the door, only the booth wasn’t outside the gym. Instead, we had to walk through hallway after hallway after hallway, with a ton of people waiting everywhere. People had started camping out to get tickets starting at 2 a.m., so there were sleeping bags, homework, laptops everywhere...

2 a.m.? Last year we thought going from Cabot to Currier to buy a ticket off someone was a rough time.

Flyby: Wait…When you say that people “camped” out, does that mean that there weren’t enough tickets for everyone?

MJF: There was definitely a fear that we wouldn’t get a ticket. At the end of the day, they didn’t sell out until around 2 to 3 p.m., so it probably wasn’t worth setting up camp at 2 a.m., but they made it seem like being there hours before was necessary. There was literally a Facebook event that was called “Camping Out for Harvard-Yale Tickets.” But I know some people that wanted a ticket and didn’t end up getting one…

Pro tip: ask a Harvard friend to put you on a House mailing list. We hear there are tons of tickets being…given away. Not sold! That’s an Ad Board-able offense, and we are rule-abiding students.

Flyby: Do people have a theory on why there were a limited number of tickets?

MJF: We thought it was because there isn’t enough room [at Fenway]. Some people say Fenway is bigger, some people say it’s smaller...

Smaller? We see why you guys go to Yale...

Flyby: Moving on, was there anything else related to ticketing that was annoying, besides the camping out part?

MJF: At one point, someone sent a very official-looking prank email saying that tickets would be offered in a “flash sale” sort of thing across campus. People went to the location hoping to secure tickets and found paper taped all over the floor. Needless to say, people weren’t too happy.

Ah yes, Yale kids too eager to “flash” — sounds familiar.

So sure, having the Game at Fenway is making our lives a bit more difficult (or a lot more, if you go to Yale). The bright side? Considering Yale’s inferior ticketing process, we may have a chance at winning the Game after all. In comparison, making the trek to the Murr Center all the way across the Charles wasn’t so bad after all.

Get H-Ype About the CEB’s Harvard-Yale Spirit Week

In case you didn’t know, there’s a football game this Saturday against some random school. For real, though, get hype for The Game because It’s Payback Time! Check out the Harvard-Yale spirit week events the College Events Board has planned for us — spoiler, so many chances to win free stuff.

Monday - Baby It’s Chili Outside

HUDS needs your help in choosing its new dhall chili recipe! The tasting will be located in the Science Center Plaza between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. where you can vote on your favorite recipe. You can even submit your own family recipe and oversee its preparation in Annenberg if it’s selected! Don’t miss your chance to pick up your CEB spirit week punch card — which lets you rack up premium swag if you attend multiple events — and see the Dance Team perform.

Tuesday - Embrace Your Inner Scott Rogowsky

Bring that big Harvard brain of yours to Emerson 105 at 7 p.m. and join fellow students in a HQ-style game show for the ages. Top performers from the first round of competition will have a chance to compete on stage, and the grand champion will win both an individual prize and a prize for his or her House! Houses with the highest attendance and best spirit will also receive prizes, including a photo booth for formal, a PlayStation, and a Lizzy’s Ice Cream & Doc Popcorn study break.

Wednesday - Bulldogs or Thanksgiving Turkey? Roast ‘em all!

This event is titled “Bulldog Roast,” and thankfully, the roasting is just verbal. Located in the Smith Campus Center’s Harvard Commons at 7:30 p.m., comedy groups on campus such as On Harvard Time and the Harvard Stand-up Comic Society will be competing for the best verbal beating of Yale. And don’t forget about OEB Professor Andrew Berry’s iconic “Why Harvard is Better than Yale” lecture. As if these events weren’t enough to convince you to attend, there will also be free food!

Thursday - Jump on It

We don’t know about you, but The Game’s got us jumping with excitement. Sign up for a free trip to Sky Zone Trampoline Park and show off those trampoline dodgeball skills of yours. You’ll be notified if you’ve received a spot by lottery — and then you can bounce the night away. Snacks and Harvard-Yale t-shirts will also be provided! Oh, how we love freebies.

Friday - Party Like It’s 1875

Yes, The Game’s been around for that long. In an epic ending to spirit week, the official Harvard-Yale party will be hosted in Annenberg Hall from 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. With DJ MATIC repping Harvard and Boola Juice bringing the beats for Yale, it’s bound to be a spirit-filled time. There’s free admission with a valid Harvard or Yale ID, so head over if you like fraternizing with the enemy...

Clear your calendars and join CEB for this fun week of camaraderie, prizes, and spirit. This is your chance to make this Game the best one yet!

What Ec10a Can Teach Us About Harvard-Yale

Economics 10 textbook
Pay attention in class kids, and maybe even do the readings. Indeed, it appears Ec10a does have some real world application.

Ec10a is more than just a way to become a bonafide snake. Surprisingly enough, it can actually be used in the real world, specifically to explain certain phenomena surrounding the upcoming Harvard-Yale game. Who would have thought economics and mediocre football had so much in common?

Everyone’s a snake trying to make a profit

Many students who don’t want to make the trek out to Fenway and are looking to make a quick buck have realized that the world’s easiest money-making venture is to sell your (free!) ticket. Because everyone’s cost of obtaining a ticket is 0, sellers can make a profit at any price, which has led to extreme price undercutting. Basically, once cheap-o Joe offered his ticket for $25, it was all over for the rest of us. However, this wasn’t the end of the ticket-sellers’ woes....

“The Government” can only sometimes improve market outcomes

As it turns out, reselling tickets wasn’t cool with the administration (surprise surprise), which means people who don’t want to go watch football can’t make a profit and students looking to bring a non-Harvard friend along for the fun can’t get a discounted ticket (or even a ticket at all if they didn’t plan over six months in advance). We’re not really sure what admin was hoping to accomplish with this, but it sounds like a deadweight loss to us.

True cost is more than just how much you paid

As any good economist can tell you, the cost of something is the sum of its implicit and explicit costs (no, not rated-R explicit). In the case of The Game, the explicit cost of attendance is 0, because of the free tickets, but the implicit cost of attending is all the studying you won’t do over the weekend plus the mental (and physical?) toll the trip to Fenway will take on you. But because people aren’t just giving away their tickets, there must be a positive profit to attendance, which means the value of getting drunk in public and freezing in the stands must somehow exceed the sum of the costs.

For most people, Harvard Yale is an excuse to day drink and pretend to know something about sports. But watching the Game unfold is almost as good as a lecture from Greg Mankiw himself, so get excited for all the lessons on economics you can learn in the name of a good ol’ rivalry.

Burst the Bubble: Nov. 9 - Nov. 11

With the semester winding up for some and down for others, we’re finally starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Thanksgiving break right around the corner, but before we’re hit with back-to-back busy weekends of Harvard Yale and family time, hit the streets of Boston for a dance class, a cooking class, or a good old-fashioned scary movie.


The Thing @ Coolidge Corner Theatre

Feeling a little sad that Halloween is over? Wanting to get a little more time out of spooky season before Christmas carols follow you everywhere you go? This Friday, the Coolidge Corner Theatre in Cambridge is hosting a special midnight showing of The Thing on 35mm. Gather your film buff and horror fan friends for some spooky Friday night fun!


Dance Bootcamp @ Swing City

Winter formals are sneaking up on us faster than we realize, and it will be mere weeks before you have a chance to formally re-discover your dance skills (or lack thereof). If you’re looking to impress your friends with some retro moves, look no further than this Saturday’s free “Swing/Charleston Bootcamp.” Head to Swing City in Cambridge from 6:30-8 p.m. for a class designed for absolute beginners. If you’re feeling particularly spiffy by the end, they’re even hosting a real swing dance right after the workshop!


Cooking as a Second Language: Spanish Edition

Like cooking? Like Spanish? Intrigued by HUDS’s attempt at ceviche but think you can do better? This Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., Hostelling International will be providing a free workshop on the history, culture, and preparation of ceviche, a dish made with raw fish. The event will be conducted in Spanish and translated to English, and all are welcome regardless of language/cooking experience. While this class is free, register before going to secure your spot!

We hate to burst your bubble, but Harvard isn’t the entire world. Go forth and burst the Harvard bubble with these Boston events!

Sweet Potatoes Aren't That Bad: A Guide to Clover's Fall Menu

Clover Sandwich
We couldn't resist sampling the Japanese Sweet Potato Sandwich.

With the removal of Harvard Time (rip), many have been forced to accept Clover as a lunchtime staple. But, with all the readings Harvard students already have to do, the expansive menu can feel quite daunting to sift through. Not to fear — we did the heavy lifting for you! Neil, a Clover employee, gave us the inside scoop on his fall favorites, and we verified his suggestions with a taste test of our own.

The Main Course

Recommendation: Japanese Sweet Potato Sandwich. Neil immediately endorsed this sandwich the moment he was asked for his go-to menu item. So expectations were high...

Verdict: You can tell the bread is fresh out of the oven because it is the perfect mix of soft and crunchy. The sweet potatoes inside are smooth and sweet and contrast with the fresh crisp of the lettuce shreds. The sandwich is completed with a shoyu sauce which is to die for. Really, this sandwich is unlike any sandwich you’ve had before. Overall, in the best way possible, this sandwich tastes like a warm hug and is a must-eat as the weather cools down.

The Beverage of Choice

Recommendation: Paw Paw Soda. While Paw Paw may look like a tropical fruit, Neil stressed that it is actually grown right here in Massachusetts. Clover apparently has a “special secret farm” where they source their Paw Paw. Suspicious? Maybe. But we support it.

Verdict: Weird but good. The bubbles and tropical undertones are tangy. The flavor is refreshing and not too sweet. Once you start drinking, it’s hard not to finish the cup. The name is also super cute.

And What We Couldn’t Resist Trying Anyway

Chickpea Fritter Platter: Come hungry. This crispy and flavorful platter is a bit overwhelming but certainly tasty.

Rosemary Fries: Cuffing season who? Fries before guys. This snack is a Clover classic.

Apple Lemonade: Be sure to grab this drink while you can because it usually sells out (and for good reason, the combination of apple and lemon is awesomely sweet and sour).

Clover really does have something for everyone, and it’s conveniently located for science nerds on-the-go. While those among us who can remember the good ol’ days may miss Greenhouse, maybe if we eat at Clover enough, our Board Plus will finally be accepted there…just maybe.

Why I Declared: Humanities Edition

Totally bamboozled about your concentration? Stressed beyond words about the upcoming declaration deadline? We asked Flyby sophomores why they picked their field of study — or the fields of study they're still choosing between. Welcome to Why I Declared 2018.

Classical Languages and Literatures & Linguistics: Carmen S. Enrique

Classics Carmen
Carmen feels right at home among Roman ruins.

I’ve wanted to study both Classics and Linguistics since I was in high school. When you have less popular interests, people always question your motives for going down a “less profitable” or “less useful” path. The simple answer is that I don’t really know why I want to study language; I just enjoy it. The deeper reason is that I love Latin poetry and need to take at least one class about it per semester to stay sane. I realized that this dependency could easily lead to a concentration, so here I am. As for Linguistics, I just find it interesting. The field is so innovative and interdisciplinary, and every part of it is wildly different. At its best, Linguistics is a collection of fun facts; at its worst, it’s a bad trip that leaves you stumbling blindly out of Sever, wondering if words are real. Both of these fields of study are often sold as small departments where you can get individualized attention. While that’s true and it’s great, it’s a shame that Classics and Linguistics have to market themselves that way. Instead, I think of them as two amazing (and prestigious) departments with great courses and brilliant faculty.

History and Literature OR English & Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality: Rocket Claman

Rocket As a Child
Rocket always had her nose in a book.

Hi, my name is Rocket, like a spaceship, affectionately known on Flyby as Rickshaw, and a few days out I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll be declaring as my concentration. I am leaning towards a joint concentration in English and Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, but am also considering a joint in History & Literature and WGS. I was drawn to storytelling from a young age, and spent my life in elementary and middle school navigating busy hallways with an armful of binders and my nose stuck in a book. Therefore, I would ideally love to write a political novel as my thesis. With this in mind, I still need to figure out the degree to which a creative thesis is possible in different departments.

I love English, but I’m passionate about social justice issues and active enough politically, that I know that doing just English wouldn’t fulfill my desires — this political drive needs to find its way into my concentration, I’m just not sure how quite yet. Maybe I’ll do a Government or Sociology secondary. Who knows? I do know that I am at my happiest when working on creative projects, and if possible would love to include aspects of that in my course of study. Basically, I’m stressed. And excited! But stressed.

Here's How to View Your Harvard Admissions File

After the high-profile and high-stakes Harvard admissions trial released a slew of well-kept secrets detailing how the College evaluates applicants, the mystery surrounding our admissions files has finally begun to unfurl.

If you're anything like me, you have a lot of questions — questions like, What does my admissions file say? What score did admissions officers give me for my extracurriculars? My personal traits? Do I have "humor and grit," like my mother says I do?

These questions don’t have to go unanswered. Under a federal law known as the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act, students have the right to schedule an appointment to view their admissions file in person. Harvard doesn’t exactly publicize this process, so I've decided to share my experience to help satisfy your curiosity. Here are the steps I took to view my file.

Note: I accessed my admissions file in December 2017. Inquire about any changes to this process at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Registrar's Office.

1. Fill out the Admissions File Viewing Request Form.

This form can be accessed here. I encourage you to complete this form early as the office can take up to 45 days to schedule your appointment. Keep in mind: if you waived the right to view your recommendation letters when you applied to Harvard, you cannot ask to view them now.

2. Send the file in an email to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Registrar Office.

Attach the file to an email to I recommend stating within the body of the email that you are making a "FERPA access request." You may also ask for access to all documents held by the Harvard University Office of Admissions and Financial Aid, including “without limitation a complete copy of any admissions records kept in my name in any and all university offices, including the Undergraduate Admission Workcard and all associated content (including without limitation the qualitative and quantitative assessments of any 'readers,' demographics data, interview records); any e-mails, notes, memoranda, video, audio, or other documentary material maintained by the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid.”

3. Come to your appointment with a pen and paper.

Once you get to the admissions office, you'll have 30 minutes max to review your file. There's a possibility the FAS Registrar Office will not permit you to take photographs of your admissions file (though at least one student got away with it). But you will be allowed to take notes on your admissions file.

Curious about the weird numbers and markings you see? Documents unearthed during the lawsuit can tell you what they mean. Check out The Crimson's explainer of the admissions process to learn more.

Some may encourage you to access your file while others may stress not to. Ultimately, the decision and responsibility is up to you. As for me, viewing my admissions file definitely helped quell some of my uncertainty about whether I belonged on campus.

Overall, though, I don't think I learned much.

Why I Declared: Social Sciences Edition

Totally bamboozled about your concentration? Stressed beyond words about the upcoming declaration deadline? We asked Flyby sophomores why they picked their field of study — or the fields of study they're still choosing between. Welcome to Why I Declared 2018.

Economics: Hannah J. Humes

Coming in my freshman year, I was sure I would end up either in engineering or as a pre-med. Everyone in my family is either a doctor or pre-med (weird flex, yes), so there was a lot of pressure to choose a career path in medicine. However, when I took an economics course instead of the standard LS1a, I realized that the math and problems in economics not only made more sense to me, but also were much more intriguing. Taking more courses has only made me more sure of my love for the mathematics of economics (nerdy, I know). Now, I think I want to become an environmental economists and use the theories I learned about in school to create change in the world I see around me. I understand the snake connotations the economics concentration has, and while I may sell my soul to the investment banks, consulting groups, or hedge funds to get that bread for a few years, a job at Goldman is not the reason I chose my concentration. Economic theory captures insights about the world that make sense to me, and learning to develop these models will be the way that I can implement change.

We all understand why Ec concentrators want this beauty on their Instagrams.

Economics: Sahara W. Kirwan

I declared my concentration in Economics 12 days ago, and you know what that means: an artsy post on my Instagram story in front of Littauer Center of Public Administration, home to the Ec Department. Not five minutes had passed before I received several replies to my story, all saying “Snake” or variations of that: “Snek,” just the snake get the idea. But to me, studying Economics isn’t about how much money I might make later on (although I won't complain) — any degree from Harvard will get you to where you want to be financially, as long as you put that degree to good use and work hard.

I chose Economics because I just can’t see myself studying anything else. I’m someone who loves math, but not enough to study just math, and who loves the humanities, but not enough to study just the humanities. Economics is the perfect middle ground for me. I can study the behavior of people and the way firms operate, or how people should behave and how firms should operate in theory, and then apply just the right amount of calculus to make these abstract concepts concrete and real to me. I’m also a Libra, so I’m all about achieving balance and (market) equilibrium.

Government: Lorenzo F. Manuali

At the end of the day, governments control a lot of the big events of the world — good or bad. They create economic prosperity, carry out genocides, uphold human rights, and create international institutions. Yes, most people recognize government as that thing that steals part of their paycheck, but it's obviously far more complex than that. Governments — especially modern ones — affect almost every aspect of our lives. Whether you believe this should be the case or not, understanding how government works is really important for understanding how the world functions. Thus, a Gov concentration also offers me flexibility in my career choice later on, whatever that may be. From markets to foreign policy and culture, Government concentrators can learn about a variety of topics, making it in my view one of the best concentrations.

CGIS might be a bit out of the way, but it's a sleek academic home base for Gov concentrators.
I’ve also loved current events ever since I was a kid. When I was in 5th grade, I drew up a peace plan for the Middle East. While giving a third of Jerusalem to The Vatican may seem weird in hindsight, it certainly was indicative of my enthusiasm for the subject. In high school, I joined the debate team, where I argued with other debaters about events of the day. Despite the weekends spent in the middle of nowhere (and yes, Yale), I loved every minute. While I also love psychology, government is the natural choice for me.

Social Studies: Cindy Li

William James Hall
Yes, it is the best view of the Harvard area.
As I toil away, making barely a dent in Alexis de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America, why I am concentrating in Social Studies begins to seem more and more like a valid question. Entering Harvard, I knew that I wanted to go into business. Why not concentrate in Economics, you ask? I have one word: Ec10. More importantly, I lack the inclination to be likened to a certain scaly reptile. In all seriousness, I have always been a lover of the social sciences and didn’t want to confine myself to just economics or government or sociology or history. Coming from someone whose favorite ice cream order is “the Sampler,” Social Studies is the concentration for the one who wants it all.

Even though I still have nightmares thinking about the thesis I will one day have to write and am already groaning thinking about all the people I will have to deliver the “No, I am not concentrating in middle school history” speech to, I’m proud and excited to be declaring Social Studies.

Why I Declared: STEM Edition

Totally bamboozled about your concentration? Stressed beyond words about the upcoming declaration deadline? We asked Flyby sophomores why they picked their field of study — or the fields of study they're still choosing between. Welcome to Why I Declared 2018.

Applied Math: Trula J. Rael

I came to Harvard without the faintest idea of what to concentrate in, but after taking SLS20 freshman fall, I became fascinated with psychology. I wanted my concentration to answer the question “How do I want to explore the world?” As the ramifications of what I was learning in class began to pop up in daily life, psychology seemed like an interesting lens to take. Harvard’s intro Math M sequence sat quietly in the corner as a non-negotiable everyday occurrence until freshman spring, when I realized I’d happily do a pset over a reading response any day. Embracing my inner math nerd, I discovered I was fascinated by the idea of learning one technique and using it to solve an incredible array of problems, how I loved the little thrill I got after figuring out the key.

Trula's future academic home beckons.

Meanwhile, as I memorized terms for Social Psych, I loved the concepts but couldn’t get past the methods. Even though Applied Math began to look like a potential avenue for combining my interests, I had never really considered a concentration in anything math-related. Having not even gotten to Calculus before college, the climb seemed steep and I wasn’t sure if I had a place in the math community — I still feel a twinge of shame when I tell anyone in STEM that I started with Math Ma.

While I don’t know if I’m making the right choice, and I certainly don’t know where this choice will lead me, I want to explore the world through numbers and equations and formulas without leaving the fascinating implications of psych behind. I chose Applied Math with an application in Psych because I’m hoping that it will let me do just that.

Integrated Biology: Ben S. Rhee

Ever since I got to Harvard, I knew I was interested in pursuing something related to STEM, and I figured that I would be able to narrow down my options with time. After freshman year, I zeroed in on biology, but had no clue which kind. After getting advice from upperclassmen friends, advisors, and the course websites, I decide to take OEB10, the gateway course for the integrative biology (IB) concentration.

Ben's Bug
Did this bug, which Ben spotted at Boston Harbor Island, factor into his IB declaration? You bet.

Two months have passed, and so far, I can sum up my experience in this path with three words: accessible, interesting, and familiar. Not only is the staff friendly, but the class is just small enough that one can actually feel recognized. The subject matter is refreshing: after a year of molecular biology and chemical reactions, learning about biodiversity and exotic invertebrates was a breath of fresh air and a new perspective on how to approach STEM. Finally, the class is very hands-on: section is filled with relevant experiments, and my class actually took a field trip to Boston Harbor Island a few weeks ago.

All in all, I feel secure and excited about declaring a concentration in IB this fall. I look forward to exploring this subject further and enjoying the company of the staff and the other students who have already demonstrated how awesome IB will be.

Neuroscience: Claire J. Hoffman

As someone really interested in medicine, I've always loved to know how things work and what makes people tick, and on the most basic level, that’s what neuroscience is. I get to learn about how and why the brain works the way it does, which is super cool in my opinion. It gets better though, because I’ll also study how things such as diseases and drugs can impact the brain, and therefore the rest of the body in in different ways, which I think is fascinating.

Not to mention, neuroscience combines a few different disciplines, including biology, chemistry, and psychology, and I think it’s really fun to be able to take classes in a pretty wide distribution of fields — it means I get plenty of choices on how I fulfill my requirements! After all, the brain is running the show when it comes to the human body ­— understanding cognitive function at both the chemical and behavioral level helps us understand so much about why our bodies work the way they do. Finally, on a more practical level, neuroscience fits the premed requirements super nicely, and who doesn’t love to make life a little easier when you can?

Science Center
Claire and Linda have signed away their Harvard lives to the Science Center, but they're happy about it.

Neuroscience: Linda Lee

I am concentrating in Neuroscience on the Mind, Brain, and Behavior track with a secondary in Computer Science. No, I’m not pre-med. But what made me stay on the path of neuroscience was my rooted passion for the brain and how its molecular and biological pathways influence how we think, learn, and feel, and ultimately, who we are as people. The MBB track allows me to approach my studies in neuroscience with this more niche angle. It can be difficult to choose within the life sciences, especially when there are so many at Harvard. Personally, although I love studying biology in general, I’m more interested in how biological concepts apply toward a more specific field. Also, the brain is cool. I would recommend asking yourself not just “What am I interested in and hope to pursue in the future?” but also “What can I devote myself to for four years that won’t drive me to the edge?”

I also decided to pursue CS secondary because CS50’s marketing tactics actually worked on me. Working on CS challenges me in a new way, and the possibilities of the field are endless. Tech is truly everywhere, and those skills can be applicable for any career. It can be frustrating when you have no idea what you’re doing, but the rush of dopamine from finally solving a pset is just enough to carry you to the next one. CS is a field where you are constantly learning, no matter how high up you are in the workplace, so you’ll never be bored.

Burst the Bubble: Nov. 2 - Nov. 4

Winnie the Pooh and Tigger and Piglet Too
Recover some of that childhood magic at the MFA's Winnie the Pooh exhibit this weekend.
Hope you enjoyed your taste of a fall nor’easter last weekend — good on Boston for trying to get us prepped and ready for the weather to come. While this weekend’s weather doesn’t look particularly promising, look on the bright side: it’s not snowing yet. Whether you’re still recovering from last weekend’s costumed adventures or you’re chomping at the bit and ready to go, there’s something fun to explore in Boston this weekend.


Illuminus Light Festival

Illuminus is a nighttime art festival which includes installations, video projects, and performances all centered around the manipulation of light. Head to Downtown Crossing between 5 and 11 p.m. to check out these creative projects. Get some quality instagram pics, impress your friends with your ~artistic~ sophistication, and enjoy Boston at night! P.S.: if you’re busy on Friday, you have a second chance to check this out on Saturday evening!


MFA Screening of “Christopher Robin

Looking to infuse a little bit of Disney into your Saturday? Honestly, who’s not! The Museum of Fine Art is currently running a special Winnie the Pooh exhibit, and to accompany this exhibit, it is hosting a free screening of Disney’s “Christopher Robin” this Saturday at 10:30 a.m. While entry to the MFA is free with our student IDs, you do need to grab tickets for both the exhibit and the movie.


House of Blues Pop-Up Arcade Bar

The Boston House of Blues is teaming up with Rhode Island’s Shelter Arcade Bar by hosting a Pop-Up Arcade in its restaurant. Bring some quarters and check out vintage arcade cabs and pinball machines which are sure to get the notalgia flowing. The arcade is open from 5 p.m. to close, but keep in mind that the venue goes 21+ at 9 p.m.

We hate to burst your bubble, but Harvard isn’t the entire world. Go forth and burst the Harvard bubble with these Boston events!

The True Dynamic Duo: Sex Week and Freshmen Family Weekend

Free Condoms at Sex Week
Remember when your mom awkwardly slipped condoms into your suitcase two months ago? Well Mom, meet Sex Week.

Sex Week, one of the best weeks at Harvard, is upon us. With events like “Hit Me Baby One More Time: BDSM in the Dorm Room” and “Talk Dirty to Me: A Dirty Talk How-To,” how could this not promise to be one of the most exciting weeks of the year? And for all of the lucky first-years, there’s an added bonus – you get to bring the fam along! That’s right, with Sex Week running until November 4th and Family Weekend occurring on November 2nd and 3rd, the whole gang will be in town just in time to catch all the exciting action (and giveaways!). Since the first event on Sunday, you can't get Sex Week off your mind, but your parents' flights are rolling in this afternoon. Now’s the time to decide: do you try to find the best way to avoid your parents for the weekend? Or do you figure out how to convince them to come? Lucky for you, we’ve figured out some of the best strategies for both.

The “I Have to Study” Ditch

At this point, your parents are probably still assuming that you spend your Fridays and Saturdays studying, not on the Quad shuttle. Ride off this assumption by playing up how you have so much work and just have to spend the rest of the day in Lamont. They won’t suspect a thing when you’re instead learning about “Sexual Fetishes A-Z” tonight – as long as you make sure you don’t run into them on their tour around the yard.

The Strategically Timed Attendance

Did you “just happen” to notice that “Harvard Today and Words of Wisdom for Families” and “Like a Virgin: Exploring the Concept of Virginity” line up at almost exactly the same time? Make your job nice and easy by simply slipping out of this program (attended by the man Larry Bacow himself) and instead hopping on over to Sever 102 for a much more transformative learning experience.

The Educational Perspective

Now that you’re (apparently) a true Harvard intellectual, simply approach your parents with the educational benefit of attending these seminars. How could they resist a well-made argument about how Sexpardy is an amazing opportunity to test your knowledge in front of other students and parents? Hint: this angle will work especially well if your parents are just as into flexing as most of the students here.

The Trick Shot

If you’re really determined to get the fam to Sex Week and don’t mind a little manipulating to do so, just tell them there’s a very important lecture that they just have to go to. Sure, they’ll be a bit surprised when the “lecture” ends up being Sex Toys 101, but at that point it’ll be too late for them to ditch out. In the end, maybe they’ll even enjoy the chance to really get to know the ~true campus culture~.

Whichever technique you decide to use, be sure to take advantage of all the fun and education (and have we mentioned giveaways?) that Sex Week has to offer. And even if your parents, siblings, uncles, weird cousins, etc. don’t decide to come along, enjoy your time with them too. After all, this will probably be your first time in months actually experiencing some sort of actual adult supervision, so you might as well embrace it.

Winter Weather Survival Guide, For People Who Think 50 Degrees is Cold

Highs are in the 50s on this spooky Halloween day. You laugh, thinking, "It's not even November 1st! I have months before I need to worry about pulling my snowboots out of storage. But Boston winter is coming. If this ominous statement conjures up a mental picture anything short of a snowpocalypse, you’re in for a rude awakening. You could have been at sunny Stanford, but instead you chose Harvard, and here, when it snows, it blizzards. Though the weather is still fairly nice, proper planning is essential to survival through long winters nights. Relax, my fair weather friends. Here are a couple of ways to stay warm all winter long. It is NEVER too early to prepare.

Layer Like You Mean It

This is not about looking cool. This is about survival. It’s time to break out that long underwear (think leggings and a long sleeve) to wear underneath anything. Though the additional layer may seem suffocating underneath your skinny jeans, come any walk that requires more than 30 seconds of exposure, you’ll be thankful for the additional warmth. Good layers will be wool or synthetic, and absolutely not cotton.

Cover Your Head

Qualities of a good hat: covers your ears, thick, cute, covers your ears. Did I mention it should cover your ears? A great thing about cold, windy climates is that the wind will make it feel 10 to 20 degrees colder, which will make your ears feel like they’re going to freeze off. You could also consider investing in a face cover, or a really big scarf you can cover your nose with.

A Good Jacket

A denim jacket will not cut it. Think puffer, wool duster, anything you might wear to go to Siberia for winter break. It should have a pockets to hide your hands in and a collar, because winter is the one time popping your collar doesn’t make you a total douchebag. If you’re feeling risky, hold off until black Friday, but just know that come December you’ll be wanting a serious coat.

Waterproof Shoes

Waterproof? But I thought there were sidewalks? Winter in the northeast isn’t just cold, it’s slushy. There’s this super fun thing called freezing rain which will permeate all but the toughest shoes. If you happen to have class on a snowy day, good luck keeping your suede boots dry. Also, make sure your shoes have some sort of grip on the bottom, or you’ll be sliding — think ice skating —around campus for three months.

Hot Coffee/ Hot Chocolate

Warm your insides to warm your outside. Spend some of your board plus in the name of keeping all ten fingers (and using Daddy Harvard’s free money), and walk around with a warm beverage all winter. Hand Warmers are a less tasty, albeit equally effective, measure.

Winter doesn’t have to be a terrible season. Sure, its cold, but it’s also the one season where you can always justify staying in and eating cookies in bed. But snow will be here soon, so don’t walk, run and buy those winter layers.

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